Back Up, Please

A reader of  p o t a g e r,  after seeing the images of Sedum 'Autumn Joy' (here) requested that I  back up with my camera please, to better see this perennial in the context of the larger border....not just a bee's eye view, if you will. In the image above, you can spot this late blooming succulent intermingled with some periwinkles (in white) and yet another tuft in front of the gaura.  I am just this year introducing it to

the front beds; consequently, the stand is not as robust or as full as it will ultimately be (another view, below).  There are other smatterings of it in the extended front border (I like the repetition of a plant throughout the space), but the clumps are, as yet, too small to photograph well and capture effectively. I like the contrast of their light green foliage against the dark green box...and the manner in which its flat-topped pink heads seemingly embrace the box on either side as it spills forward.

Its broader landscape representation in the context of the border is more evident in the back...where the stand is more mature, more robust, and can be seen more readily in larger clumps...

like here (to the left of the basket) edging the west border in the back and, even more dramatically, below,

in the foreground of my cutting garden, where it keeps company with Cleome 'Rosalita' (here), a marvelous PROVEN WINNER annual that I have planted in this border the last couple of years. As another reader noted, 'Autumn Joy' tends to be heavy-headed, toppling over of its own weight at about the time it blooms. This habit can be minimized by making sure it gets full sun, so as to prevent lankiness...or staking it...I sometimes even cut it back mid-summer to encourage bushiness. But no matter to me that it

flops over as it blooms. It can spill over my flagstone as it may, or not.  I like it either way; its behavior can't dim my affection for the border or in the vase.

In the image below, you can spy another sedum (of unnamed provenance, a gift from a fellow gardener), whose bloom and form is decidedly similar, but the flower more rounded and rust-colored. Its foliage tends to be more pointed in a blue-green hue, and it looks smashing with

dark rusty-red garden mums peeking out from behind. A wonderful contrasting tone on tone effect. I have recently seen both pink and rust blooming varieties in the same display area in garden centers...truly, you cannot go wrong with either selection.  Or both :)

 Clearly, it makes no difference to the honey bees!


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